We are advised by Nutritionists to ensure we eat whole grains like our ancestors and not refined grains which are very popular these days in the form of breads and breakfast cereals.
Whilst it is true that our ancestors ate whole grains, they either soaked them or fermented them for 2 days to several weeks prior to cooking and eating.
So why did our ancestors do this? Well, grains, like legumes contain phytic acid in the outer layer or bran. Untreated phytic acid can combine with many minerals in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. Therefore, a diet high in unfermented grains is likely to lead to mineral deficiencies and bone loss.
The modern approach to consume large amounts of unprocessed bran initially improves colon transit time, but can lead to irritable bowel syndrome and other adverse effects further down the line.
Soaking grains allows enzymes and lactobacilli and other organisms to break down and neutralise phytic acid. This then enables you to absorb the nutrients you have eaten. Soaking in warm water also neutralises enzyme inhibitors in grains and seeds and encourages the production of numerous beneficial enzymes and vitamins.
Tune in next time for part 2 on Grains…